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Composition And Method For Treating Inflammatory Diseases - Patent 6294170

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FIELD OF THEINVENTIONThe present invention relates to the field of inflammation. More specifically, the present invention relates to a composition for the purpose of preventing or treating inflammatory diseases.BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTIONInflammation is the body's defense reaction to injuries such as those caused by mechanical damage, infection or antigenic stimulation. An inflammatory reaction may be expressed pathologically when inflammation is induced by an inappropriatestimulus such as an autoantigen, is expressed in an exaggerated manner or persists well after the removal of the injurious agents.While the etiology of inflammation is poorly understood, considerable information has recently been gained regarding the molecular aspects of inflammation. This research has led to identification of certain cytokines which are believed to figureprominently in the mediation of inflammation. Cytokines are extracellular proteins that modify the behavior of cells, particularly those cells that are in the immediate area of cytokine synthesis and release. Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is one of the mostpotent inflammatory cytokines yet discovered and a cytokine which is thought to be a key mediator in many diseases and medical conditions, termed "interleukin-1 mediated diseases". IL-1, which is manufactured (though not exclusively) by cells of themacrophage/monocyte lineage, may be produced in two forms: IL-1 alpha (IL-1.alpha.) and IL-1 beta (IL-1.beta.).A disease or medical condition is considered to be an "interleukin-1 mediated disease" if the spontaneous or experimental disease or medical condition is associated with elevated levels of IL-1 in bodily fluids or tissue or if cells or tissuestaken from the body produce elevated levels of IL-1 in culture. In many cases, such interleukin-1 mediated diseases are also recognized by the following additional two conditions: (1) pathological findings associated with the disease or medicalcondition can be mimicked experimentally in a

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